COVID-Related Restrictions Expected to Ease at Canadian Border
According to unofficial reports, by the end of September, Canada may drop its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for travelers entering Canada from the United States via the Detroit-Windsor border. That border crossing handles more than 40,000 travelers each day, including commuters, truck drivers, and tourists. Canada may also end COVID-19 vaccine requirements for airport arrivals and no longer require filling out the ArriveCan app. Currently, all travelers in Canada must be fully vaccinated to travel by most air, rail, or passenger vessels. In addition, some provinces or individual businesses may continue to limit discretionary activities, such as visits to restaurants, bars, gyms, and retail shops, to individuals who can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
It is unclear whether the United States will also drop similar land-border vaccine requirements. At present, all nonimmigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status before boarding an airplane to the United States. Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may enter the United States at land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals. Fully vaccinated travelers do not need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter the United States by air, land, or sea. Fully vaccinated foreign travelers can travel to the United States across the Northern and Southwest borders with Canada (and Mexico). U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents do not need to provide proof of vaccination status at land POEs and ferry terminals.
A group of Canadian legislators and border-area mayors from both countries published a letter on September 20, 2022, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden asking them to remove the border restrictions.
- “Canada to Lift COVID Vaccine Requirement for Travelers At Border,” Detroit News, Sept. 21, 2022, https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2022/09/21/canada-lift-covid-vaccine-requirement/8070492001/
- “Open Letter: President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,” Sept. 20, 2022, https://twitter.com/jimdiodati/status/1572253493968408576/photo/1
- Travel to Canada: Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccinated Travellers, https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/covid-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada
- COVID-19 Information – Canada, U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada, Sept. 9, 2022, https://ca.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information-canada-3/
- COVID-19: Travel, Testing and Borders, https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid
DOJ Secures Settlements With Four Companies for Discriminatory Job Advertising on College Recruiting Platforms
On September 21, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it entered into another four settlements to resolve claims that companies discriminated against non-U.S. citizens by posting job opportunities with unlawful citizenship status restrictions on college job recruiting platforms. The four agreements add to DOJ’s recent settlements with 16 other companies to resolve similar claims, bringing the total civil penalty amount for all 20 employers to over $1.1 million. The latest four companies include CarMax, Axis Analytics, Capital One Bank, and Walmart.
DOJ said its involvement began after a Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) student, who was a lawful permanent resident at the time, filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. The student’s complaint alleged that Capital One Bank restricted a paid internship opportunity only to U.S. citizens when it posted the job on a Georgia Tech job recruitment platform. DOJ said that during its investigation, the agency learned about “dozens of other facially discriminatory advertisements employers posted on Georgia Tech’s job recruiting platform as well as other platforms operated by colleges across the United States.”
- DOJ release, Sept. 21, 2022, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-secures-settlements-carmax-axis-analytics-capital-one-bank-and-walmart
Congress Passes Bill to Conduct Employment-Related Study of Foreign-Credentialed Immigrants and Refugees
On September 19, 2022, Congress passed the “Bridging the Gap for New Americans Act” (S. 3157) to require the Department of Labor to submit to Congress a study on the factors affecting employment opportunities for certain individuals with professional credentials obtained in a non-U.S. country, specifically individuals who are lawfully present noncitizens or naturalized U.S. citizens. The study will include policy recommendations for better enabling such individuals to obtain skill-appropriate employment in the United States.
The study is to include: (1) an analysis of the employment history of applicable immigrants and refugees admitted to the United States during the five-year period immediately preceding the date of enactment; (2) an assessment of any barriers that prevent applicable immigrants and refugees from using occupational experience obtained outside the United States to obtain employment in the United States; (3) an analysis of available public and private resources assisting applicable immigrants and refugees who have professional experience and qualifications obtained outside of the United States to obtain skill-appropriate employment in the United States; and (4) policy recommendations for better enabling applicable immigrants and refugees who have professional experience and qualifications obtained outside of the United States to obtain skill-appropriate employment in the United States.
Indian Green Card Seekers Ask Court to End Federal Policy Placing Applications in ‘Legal Limbo’
A group of green card seekers from India filed a motion for a temporary restraining order on September 15, 2022, in Datta v. Jaddou, asking a U.S. district court in the state of Washington to end a federal policy that pushes their applications into a “legal limbo.”
They argue that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ and the Department of State’s requirement that a visa must be available at both the time of filing and approval of the application is wrong. Brad Banias, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said, “If there is a visa available at the time they filed for adjustment of status, that’s all that matters.”
- “Green Card Hopefuls Want End to Policy Creating ‘Legal Limbo,’ ” Bloomberg Law, Sept. 16, 2022, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/green-card-hopefuls-want-end-to-policy-creating-legal-limbo
USCIS Implements Next Phase of Premium Processing for Certain Previously Filed EB-1 and EB-2 Immigrant Petitions
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on September 15, 2022, that it is implementing the next phase of the premium processing expansion for certain petitioners who have a pending Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, under the EB-1 and EB-2 classifications.
This phase only applies to certain previously filed Form I-140 petitions under an E13 multinational executive and manager classification or E21 classification as a member of professions with advanced degrees or exceptional ability seeking a national interest waiver (NIW), USCIS explained.
USCIS is now accepting Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, requests for:
- E13 multinational executive and manager petitions received on or before January 1, 2022; and
- E21 NIW petitions received on or before February 1, 2022.
USCIS has 45 days to take an adjudicative action on cases that request premium processing for these newly included Form I-140 classifications.
- USCIS alert, https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-to-implement-next-phase-of-premium-processing-for-certain-previously-filed-eb-1-and-eb-2-form
Witnesses Testify at Senate Hearing on Importance of Immigrant Workers to U.S. Health Care System
On September 14, 2022, several witnesses testified at a hearing held by the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, “Flatlining Care: Why Immigrants Are Crucial to Bolstering Our Health Care.” Among them were Sarah K. Peterson, Principal Attorney, SPS Immigration PLLC, who testified about “smart immigration reform” to allow International Medical Graduates (IMGs,) international nurses, and other healthcare professionals to help address the United States’ “ongoing shortage of access to medical care, ensuring that all Americans are able to access basic, primary medical care regardless of where they live in the United States.”
Among other things, Ms. Peterson urged Congress to pass two pending bills: the Conrad State 30 and Physician Access Reauthorization Act, S. 1810 (H.R. 3541), and the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, S. 1024 (H.R. 2255). She said that the passage of these bills would increase access to medical care and bring relief to underserved populations, and to J-1 physicians and international nurses. She noted, for example, that the Conrad bill would provide “cap gap” relief for J-1 trainees, similar to that provided to F-1 students working in Optional Practical Training status, whose work authorization expires before October 1 and whose employers have filed a cap-subject H-1B petition selected in the registration period. “Expanding this relief to physicians would provide employers with quicker access to necessary health care and allow these foreign national physicians to change status in the United States, without having to depart the United States, obtain a visa, and only be permitted to re-enter the U.S. months later. Cap gap work-authorization for U.S.-trained physicians would add a quarter of a year or more of badly needed physician coverage and is smart immigration reform,” she said.
- Hearing video and testimony, https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/flatlining-care-why-immigrants-are-crucial-to-bolstering-our-health-care-workforce
DHS Issues Final Rule on Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is amending its regulations, effective December 23, 2022, regarding determinations of whether noncitizens are inadmissible to the United States because they are likely at any time to become a public charge.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said DHS “will not penalize individuals for choosing to access the health benefits and other supplemental government services available to them.” These benefits include Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other nutrition programs, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Medicaid (other than for long-term institutionalization), housing benefits, any benefits related to immunizations or testing for communicable diseases, or other supplemental or special-purpose benefits.
Under the final rule, DHS will determine that a noncitizen is likely to become a public charge if the noncitizen is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, as demonstrated by either the receipt of public cash assistance for income maintenance or long-term institutionalization at government expense.
On August 14, 2019, DHS issued a different rule on this topic, which is no longer in effect.
- DHS final rule, 87 Fed. Reg. 55472 (Sept. 9, 2022). https://bit.ly/3RB7FDv
- DHS news release, Sept. 8, 2022. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/news-releases/dhs-publishes-fair-and-humane-public-charge-rule
USCIS Releases Revised Forms I-589 and I-765
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is releasing revised editions of Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Effective November 7, 2022, USCIS will only accept editions of these forms dated 07/26/22. Until then, applicants can submit either the new or previous editions of these forms. USCIS cautioned, however, that “previous editions contain various instructions that have been rendered obsolete in light of the Asylumworks vacatur.” In that case, a U.S. district court vacated two rules.
- USCIS alert, Sept. 7, 2022. https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-released-revised-editions-of-forms-i-589-and-i-765
USCIS Releases FY 2023 Employment-Based Adjustment of Status FAQs
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released updated fiscal year (FY) 2023 frequently asked questions on employment-based (EB) adjustment of status. The introduction to the FAQs notes that the EB annual limit for FY 2023 will be higher than was typical before the pandemic but lower than in FYs 2021 and 2022. USCIS reiterated that it is “dedicated to ensuring we use as many available employment-based visas as possible in FY 2023,” which ends on September 30, 2023.
The FAQs note that the Department of State currently estimates that the FY 2023 employment-based annual limit will be approximately 200,000 due to unused family-based visa numbers from FY 2022 being added to the employment-based limit for FY 2023.
- USCIS FAQs, updated Sept. 8, 2022. https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/fiscal-year-2023-employment-based-adjustment-of-status-faqs
ETA Requests Comments on Proposed Revisions to Prevailing Wage Determination Application Forms
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration is requesting comments by October 11, 2022, on proposed revisions to the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (Form ETA-9141) and Employer-Provided Survey Attestations to Accompany H-2B Prevailing Wage Determination Request Based on a Non-OES Survey) (Form ETA-9165).
- DOL submission for Office of Management and Budget review, 87 Fed. Reg. 55042 (Sept. 8, 2022). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-09-08/pdf/2022-19360.pdf
- Related notice with details, 87 Fed. Reg. 35999 (June 14, 2022). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-06-14/pdf/2022-12804.pdf
Klasko Immigration Law Partners is holding its annual Seminar on Tuesday, October 25th at the Union League of Philadelphia. Register here!
IN THE NEWS
Andrew J. Zeltner │ Maria M. Mihaylova
Citybiz and Law.com covered their recent interview on the “Legal Talk with Stacy Clark” on MLTV21 with partner Drew Zeltner and senior associate Maria Mihaylova.
H. Ronald Klasko
Mondaq published Klasko’s article on the EB-5 Regional Centers settlement achievement.
H. Ronald Klasko
Ron recently spoke with Abteen Vaziri and Preeya Malik on The Investment Migration Report podcast about the latest changes – including the recent federal lawsuit – to the EB-5 program. Watch and listen here.
UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
H. Ronald Klasko
Ron will be speaking on AILA Latin American and Caribbean Chapter (LACC) webinar titled “EB-5 Update with Ron Klasko and Tammy Fox-Iscoff” on the latest news affecting the EB-5 industry.
UPCOMING SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Klasko Immigration Law Partners
On October 25th, we will be once again hosting Klasko’s annual seminar! Please join us for our sixteenth seminar addressing current topics of interest for professionals working in employment-based immigration. Register here!
H. Ronald Klasko │ Daniel B. Lundy
Partners Ron Klasko and Dan Lundy will both be speaking at the 2022 AILA CFC Annual Conference on October 27, 2022, in Clearwater, FL. Ron will be speaking on the panel titled “Utilizing All the Tools in Your Toolbox: Pursuing Litigation to Overcome Denials and Delays and Current Mandamus Trends”. Dan will be speaking on the panel called “New EB-5 Integrity Laws and Processes Protecting Investors”.
Andrew J. Zeltner │ Grace W. Waweru
On November 2nd, partner Andrew Zeltner and associate Grace Waweru will be presenting to Princeton University on visa options for postdocs and graduate students.
ICYMI: RECENT BLOG POSTS AND ALERTS
The Other Immigration Lottery: Diversity Visa
In this article, Natalia Gouz explains the other lottery, known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program
Frequently Asked Questions for Adjustment of Status Applicants About the Visa Bulletin and USCIS Processing
In this blog, William A. Stock addresses common questions employees will have about the Visa Bulletin movement and how it will affect their cases.
Podcast Episode 30: EB-5 Litigation Victory!
In this episode of Statutes of Liberty, Klasko attorneys explain the importance and details of the EB-5 settlement and what it means for regional centers and investors moving forward. Listen and read the transcription here!
Last month, Klasko had its first in office social event in over 2 years! Head over to our Instagram for more pictures.
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This newsletter was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Klasko Immigration Law Partners is an active member.